A Range of Recommendations

It’s time for some more reading suggestions and in this post I’m going to cheat by borrowing a whole set of suggestions which I found really interesting, from a range of people. Firstly, books to broaden your horizons, by Hilary Mantel, Simon Schama, Lisa Taddeo and more. If you currently feel confined, reading can open up new worlds. Authors and thinkers at this year’s Hay Festival Digital recommend books to take you on a journey.

As you see, the range is wide and rather unexpected, including poetry, prose fiction, non-fiction, memoir, philosophy, children’s literature and commercial catalogues! Not only are the suggestions interesting, but what people have to say about them is fascinating too – including the catalogue. While I don’t expect you to rush to study the latest shopping catalogue which is dropped through your letterbox, and I hope none of you is quite ready yet for a childcare manual, there’s some really good things here. Do you remember books being read to you as a child? Have they made a lasting impression, as suggested? For me it was Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and it has. It’s also worth thinking about the power of children’s literature, which often includes some of the most powerful storytelling. I used to reread Alan Garner’s Elidor frequently, and his complex, time-bending The Owl Service. In the books I have read to my own children, Peter Dickinson’s The Kin stands out for its amazing anthropological historical sweep. And Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses has recently been given a new life on the BBC and resonates with current events in America.

I’d be interested to know about your own experiences of books that have made a difference as you have grown up. And it doesn’t have to be your A Level texts!